Basic Sciences Division, Fred Hutch
Dr. Steven Henikoff is a molecular biologist who studies the structure, function and evolution of our DNA molecules, or chromosomes. He also develops tools for comparing gene sequences, determining the arrangement of genes in living cells and understanding the biological functions of genes. Credited with helping build the infrastructure for analyzing the human genome, Dr. Henikoff was among the first to realize that computing and the internet could revolutionize biological research. In 1992, he and his wife, Jorja Henikoff, developed a computational method that researchers have used to compare the relatedness among all living things, making it possible to uncover the roots of human diseases through the study of simpler organisms. Dr. Henikoff and his colleagues have also developed techniques that allow scientists to map features of chromosomes that are altered when genes are switched on or off. These methods have already offered new insight into how gene activity patterns may persist for many cell generations. It also may eventually help scientists determine how an embryo develops into an adult animal or how healthy cells become cancerous.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Affiliate Faculty, Genome Sciences
University of Washington
Postdoctoral, University of Washington, Zoology, 1980
Ph.D., Harvard University, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1977
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